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Purchasing Division Website Undergoing Upgrades for Easier Use and Transparency

The Purchasing Division's website and its various pages, particularly the Transparency section, puts tremendous amounts of data at the disposal of state agencies, the vendor community, and most importantly, the citizens of West Virginia. The Business and Technical Services section of the Purchasing Division is making upgrades and additions to WVPurchasing.gov for better transparency and access to information. The upgrades have already begun to make some of the data easier to find for website visitors.

The Google-based search bar located on the Bids Received page at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/Bids was replaced because it didn’t perform at the level that was needed by our users.

“The new search bar that our intern Daniel McCloy developed in-house now successfully matches the user with a solicitation number input into the search box,” said Mark Totten, manager of the Technical Services Unit of the Purchasing Division. “Furthermore, because of state employees' tendencies to write solicitation numbers in wvOASIS shorthand, we also added a function to this box that matches with a desired solicitation number even if a user searches by the number in wvOASIS shorthand.”

The Notice of Award page at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/Awards/default.html is updated weekly with a list of all contract awards made by the Purchasing Division.

“Similar to the bids received page, but more thorough, we built a search bar that searches inside the weekly PDF files,” Totten said. “This allows the user to find a contract award based on a solicitation number, award document number, project description, vendor name, or agency name. Because of the number of matches, though, it's best to search with a full contract number of some type.”

Because of the amount of data this search box combs through, a progress bar was added to show the user when the box is working so they can wait for the time that it takes to fully search the data within this part of the website.

While this page is not the Awarded Central Contracts page that shows the contract documents themselves, the search capability on the Notice of Award Reports page allows a visitor to pinpoint where on the Awarded Central Contracts site the contract document would be posted if they do not already know the chronological awarded date.

In addition, the search tool for The Buyers Network has been improved to search all of the newsletter’s PDFs online. This provides a helpful resource for procurement officers looking for something specific such as "Section 5," "SWAM," or "vendor registration."

Purchasing Division and wvOASIS Develop New Vendor-Outreach Resource for State Agency Procurement Officers

In conjunction with wvOASIS, the Purchasing Division has developed a method to expand agencies' competitive reach when procurement officers solicit the vendor community for goods and services. With newly-condensed information that utilizes data gathered through the Purchasing Division's Vendor Registration program, and available to state agencies through a report in the wvOASIS Business Intelligence module, procurement officers now have unprecedented access to targeted vendor information that can greatly accelerate the State of West Virginia's competitive-bid process. The report, WV-FIN-VN-010, Vendors by Commodity, allows state agencies to search wvOASIS's vendor table by UNSPSC-designated commodity codes describing what vendors indicate through registration as their specific areas of business.

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC), used globally to classify nearly anything procurable, is part of the library of information collected from vendors during the state registration process. Procurement employees are encouraged to search UNSPSC.org for appropriate codes describing their needed commodities and become familiar with classification codes for their agency's unique needs. With the desired UNSPSC codes, and harnessed during solicitation planning, matching UNSPSC codes with vendor information already in the wvOASIS system's VCUST table gives procurement officers a currently-untapped layer of effectiveness when seeking competitive responses from the private sector. This data, available to export in spreadsheet format for agencies to analyze, can serve to expand the vendor audience made aware of any bid opportunity, whether procured through the agency-delegated purchasing process or advertised as a solicitation through the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin.

The Purchasing Division and wvOASIS designed the WV-FIN-VN-010 report to minimize agency time needed to benefit from the data output through the report's minimal steps. In order to run this report for a specific commodity code, agency employees with Business Intelligence access can open WV-FIN-VN-010 and click “Refresh All.” Requiring the input of only two pieces of information, the commodity's eight-digit code and the commodity's two-digit “segment” number (which is simply the first two digits of the commodity code), the report instantly searches West Virginia's vendor database and outputs a list of vendors from VCUST who have indicated their ability to provide the commodity you have input OR a commodity in a similar code family to what you are seeking. This net of information that is both targeted and expansive by including similar commodity “family” matches can facilitate greater agency-to-vendor engagement when advertising state solicitations.

Information output by the commodity report includes vendors' Ordering addresses, email addresses of one or more vendor representatives, and phone numbers for the business, all based on what the vendor has provided through registration and the Vendor Self-Service portal at wvOASIS.gov. Immediate identification of potential vendors when planning and advertising competitive solicitations is expected to greatly enhance the state's ability to perform market research ahead of procurements or to more effectively communicate with potential vendors via phone or email, all while eliminating guesswork and time spent identifying relevant vendors from scratch for the state's diverse and often unusual needs. The increased number of competitive responses to advertised solicitations can result in state agencies lowering costs for all necessary commodities and services.

The information generated by this report is dependent on the accuracy of what both agencies and vendors indicate as the appropriate commodity codes describing state needs and what each vendor provides within their business. With the report's data including vendor commodity matches beyond a perfect one-to-one match, but staying within the same commodity family, the report gives you access to information that may include vendors with the ability to deliver the goods or services you need, even if they identified a similar, but not exact, commodity code upon registration.

If you have any questions or for more information, please contact Technical Services Manager Mark Totten at mark.l.totten@wv.gov.

Electronic Fund Transfer Payments

State Auditor John B. McCuskey is encouraging all vendors doing business with the state of West Virginia to visit wvsao.gov and file to receive payment through the state's Electronic Funds Transfer payment system or accept the State Purchasing Card. To view the media advisory, click here.

Vendor Registration Guide for State Agencies Posted to State Intranet

For state procurement officers involved with the business of completing transactions on behalf of state agencies, a Vendor Registration Guide for State Agencies has been made available on the Purchasing Division's intranet website.  Located in the Vendor Registration section of the intranet website, this guide provides details regarding the Department of Administration's requirements when processing an award document and, in addition, the document serves as a reference for procurement employees and defines the scope of the division's vendor registration program.

The Purchasing Division's intranet is a private network for state employees and requires a state network connection to view.  For any questions regarding the Vendor Registration program or the Purchasing Division's intranet site, please contact Mark Totten at mark.l.totten@wv.gov.

Transparency-Focused Section Added to Purchasing Division Website

The Purchasing Division has recently added a section to its website, WVPurchasing.gov, focusing on transparency in the state government procurement process.  The Transparency page contains data, reports, and publications related to procurements made under the Purchasing Division's authority, as outlined in West Virginia Code, the West Virginia Code of State Rules, and the Purchasing Division Procedures Handbook.

The information organized on the Transparency page reflects the Purchasing Division's goal of providing transparency to the citizens of West Virginia, other state agencies, and the vendor community.  Sections of the Transparency page include the Notice of Centralized Award Report, the “Request an RFQ” form, a link to the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin at wvOASIS.gov, a link to view vendor responses to solicitations that have been opened by the Purchasing Division, the Purchasing Division's annual reports, a link to the West Virginia State Budget Office, and West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin Archives, which allows visitors to reference solicitations that were out for bid from 2006-2014.

The Buyers Network

For more news, check out the latest issue of The Buyers Network.

In-House Training Program Continues to Offer Benefits to State-Agency Purchasers

As part of its 2024 In-House Training Program, the Purchasing Division continues to offer monthly training sessions which cover a variety of purchasing-related topics. These sessions are free to all agency purchasers who are required to procure under West Virginia Code § 5A-3 and are conducted in person and online. Space is limited and registration is given on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information or to register for these trainings, please visit our Training page.

Office Assistant 2 - Under general supervision, manages administrative process of encumbrance. Performs full performance supervisory work overseeing the activities of clerical support staff which includes, front desk clerk, bid clerk, and imaging operator. Completes annual performance appraisals, approves sick and annual leave, makes recommendations for process improvements, and is held responsible for the performance of the employees supervised. Work is reviewed by superiors through results produced or through meetings to evaluate output. Performs related work as required. Located in Kanawha. This posting closes June 14, 2024. For more information and to apply, visit the West Virginia Division of Personnel.



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